The first day of the 2022 State 7-on-7 Tournament in College Station is in the books, and the Dave Campbell's Texas Football staff was there to witness all of the action. Here's what we thought of the action in Aggieland.
Greg Tepper, DCTF managing editor
An action-packed first day of small school action in 7-on-7 was played in pretty steamy weather — the temperature topped out around 102 degrees in College Station, and shade was the coin of the realm. Perhaps that's what explains what was a fairly disparate set of results, from the first half of the day to the second half of the day. In the opening contests, it was defense that dominated, with teams routinely winning with 21 or fewer points; but as the day wore on, the offenses woke up, and it became increasingly pointsy. The offenses took hold as the defenses wore down, or perhaps the offenses took off because they warmed up after a couple of games. Whatever the case, it'll be interesting to see which side of the ball dominates in the knockout rounds of the Division II and Division III, and whether the Division I pool play — played under similar conditions — follows the same pattern.
My MVP: I thought Brady was particularly impressive today. Perhaps the forgotten team in an otherwise loaded Pool C of Division III, the Bulldogs showed out with impressive wins over Poth and Marlin, and a narrow loss to Harmony. Quarterback Hayden Baronet and receiver Keegan Farris were particularly impressive, andd RB/DB JD Ibarra made his presence felt on both sides.
Ishmael Johnson, DCTF assistant managing editor
Marlin going 1-2 in pool play is something to put a pin in going forward because they ended the day beating a previously unbeaten Harmony following a really slow start to the day, scoring just six in a loss to Poth. Although they’re without star wideout Derion Gullette for the season, the Bulldogs are still a contender in 2A DI. On paper, this is still one of the most athletically gifted teams in the small school ranks and they can absolutely make a good run in bracket play. Also, Gunter in Pool E looks like a legitimate machine absolutely flattening the rest of the field in impressive fashion.
My MVP: My MVP for the first day is easily Silsbee wideout Dre’lon Miller. The Tigers went 3-0 and it was clear that, in both Division II and Division III, Miller’s the premier athlete on the field so far.
Matt Stepp, DCTF high school insider
In the Division III bracket, two teams who expect to be contenders when the pads come on in August definitely looked the part on Thursday as Hawley and Gunter both dominated en-route to 3-0 records. Both teams won every game by double digits and will be among the teams to beat in Division II on Friday. Silsbee was maybe the most impressive team on the day, running through their pool at 3-0, including a dominant 33-13 win over Anna.
My MVP: Celina gets the MVP vote as the Bobcats, who are the most decorated 7-on-7 team of all time, showed they are a threat to win it all on Friday with a strong 3-0 run, including a thrilling last minute win over Dumas to close the day out.
Greg Powers, DCTF recruiting analyst
Five-star Louisiana-based QB Arch Manning announced his commitment to Texas on Thursday just before the start of the action, and the recruits were buzzing.
2024 Daingerfield ATH Aeryn "Bubba" Hampton (5'10, 175) is a Texas commit who was fired up about the potential of playing with Manning at the next level.
"It is definitely going to help the class," Hampton said. "Athletes and receivers definitely want a quarterback who can help get us to a 'natty,' and I feel like he is capable of getting us to a national championship."
Hampton is open to playing offense or defenses at Texas.
My MVP: 2024 Silsbee WR Drelon Miller (6'2, 195) had the most dominant prospect performance that I witnessed on Thursday. Miller is smooth in and out of his breaks and can play over the top of high school defensive backs. He has collected 13 offers with schools like Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oregon on the list.
Mallory Hartley, DCTF associate producer
Day 1 is over and there were a few teams that caught my eye. One of those teams was Anna, led by quarterback Evan Bullock and running back Breezy Dubar. The Coyotes fought hard in their final game of the evening, swiping the win over Smithville with a last-second touchdown. The Louisiana Tech commit Bullock looked calm and poised in the final few seconds as the Coyotes end the day with a 2-1 record. Anna and Silsbee come out of Division II's Pool B and will take on Breckenridge tomorrow. They are a team to keep an eye on.
My MVP: One of the most impressive players of the day was Gunter quarterback Luke Dodd. From a couple snaps, you can immediately tell he’s real deal. He can sling it all over the field and find any receiver with ease.
William Wilkerson, DCTF digital director
The most complete team I saw today was Gunter, and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the Tigers have lost a combined five games since 2018. Gunter was simply unstoppable on offense, out-scoring San Angelo TLC, 41-25, Dawson, 33-14, and Flatonia, 33-6. The player that jumped out the most to me for the Tigers was 2024 do-it-all athlete Cannon Lemberg, and it wasn’t because of his fiery red hair. The dude is simply unguardable in space, has excellent burst and great hands. I’m not the only one that’s taken notice. Marshall recently became the first FBS school to offer him. The Thundering Herd won’t be his last.
My MVP: My MVP for the day is Gunter ATH Cannon Lemberg. The 2024 weapon did it all in leading the Tigers to a 3-0 record in pool play in which they out-scored their opponents 107-45.
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